2019 Elite Road Nationals
Report By Rylan Dowdell
Nationals, the race where even finishing is considered a fantastic result for most. After seeing the new kids on the block Blake Agnoletto and Henry Dietze both finishing top 10 in the Under 19’s road race and Iven Bennett’s fantastic result finishing 15th in the under 23’s, David Randall and I were certainly pumped, to say the least. The rest of the boys had all performed well despite bad luck hindering some of their performances.
Our plan was simple on paper – stay near the front and sit in the bunch – however, I think a stray ember from the Redcoats riffles must’ve burnt that piece of paper the minute they fired. The first 3 laps were relentless, with a breakaway and a chase bunch of 30 somehow slipping away and gaining a substantial gap. At this point, Dave and I were in the remaining peloton while most of the big teams were featured up the road. With some unlucky big names that had been caught unawares still lingering in our bunch, it was a bad place to be. With the pace only really easing for half a lap during the first five laps, it felt like a constant fight as the desperation began to set in and the big names started to put the hammer down in an effort to get back into the race.
Seven laps in spelt the end of Dave’s race and I was left in a whittled down peloton. I knew I had to position myself well every time we hit the hill if I was going to make it to the top in contact. On the 10th lap, our bunch was torn apart by yet another massive attack on the hill and I went from near the front to near the back, as our bunch was splitting into smaller groups. This was essentially the end of my race, and after completing 140kms we received the red flag and I made my way back up to the camp in the feed zone. Next year I will finish this stinking race! Congratulations to Michael Freiberg on the win!
I would like to thank the sponsors, the team, the riders families and Lachie for the support making these races possible.